South Korean shares traded lower late Friday morning as investors attempted to cash in recent gains amid a lack of upside momentum.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index shed 9.52 points, or 0.52 percent, to 1,826.69 as of 11:15 a.m.
The main index opened higher, tracking overnight gains on Wall Street on the back of the United States' latest stimulus effort meant to minimize the economic fallout from the new coronavirus.
US stocks rose after the US Federal Reserve unveiled programs worth $2.3 trillion to help the world's No. 1 economy hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
But South Korean stocks pared earlier gains as foreign and institutional investors turned to a selling mode.
Huh Jae-hwan, a strategist at Eugene Investment Co., said investors appeared to find few upside factors.
In Seoul, most large-cap stocks traded mixed across the board.
Market bellwether Samsung Electronics Co. fell 0.51 percent, and No. 2 chipmaker SK hynix Inc. was down 2.24 percent.
Among gainers, the country's top steelmaker POSCO rose 4.86 percent, and leading pharmaceutical firm Samsung BioLogics was up 7 percent.
The local currency was trading at 1,215.20 won against the US dollar, up 4.30 won from the previous session's close. (Yonhap)